Palusami (Taro leaves with Coconut Milk)


This is a popular vegetable dish in Samoa and is very tasty.  

It's very simple, but you must ensure that the Taro Leaves are young and well cooked.  The first time that I made it, I had quite mature leaves and only cooked them for 20 minutes in the pressure cooker - both of us had tingling lips and tongues afterwards.

If you can't get Taro leaves then Spinach is a good substitute.

SERVES 4 as a side dish

Preparation Time:  15 Minutes
Cooking Time:  30 minutes


1lb young taro leaves or spinach 1 tlbsp  salt
1/2 can coconut cream 1 teasp pepper
1 large onion finely chopped  

Wash the Taro leaves, strip the outer part of the spine and cut off the tips.  Soak the leaves in a bowl of hot water while you prepare the other ingredients - this makes the leaves more pliant.  

Mix the finely chopped onion and coconut milk in a bowl and add salt and pepper (and garlic is you want to).

Make a 12" by 12" square of aluminium foil and then layer four taro leaves on top holding it in a kind of cup in your hand. Spoon the coconut mixture into the taro leaves and then fold the leaves over into a ball securing it in place with the aluminium foil.  The quantities should make 5 or 6 bundles depending on how big the leaves are. 

Place the bundles into a pan and bake in the oven for one hour at 375 degrees.  Alternatively, steam in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes.